Dec 082017
 

I take great pleasure in announcing the winner of the Rootstech pass selected by the Random Number Generator.  Thank you to everyone who entered, sadly I couldn’t give more than one prize .

The pass   include the registration fee for over 300+ classes, Keynote General Sessions, Innovation Showcase, Expo Hall, and evening events (but does NOT include airfare, accommodation meals)

Such great value and the winner is Steve Connor from Oklahoma.

Steve really wants to attend the Mapping sessions as it will help him in his research and in his work.

Steve is someone who has given so much to the genealogical community over many years.   One of the reasons he really wanted to attend the mapping classes was :

“It is my goal to map out deeds and bounty land for the Russell County KyGenWeb of which I have been a volunteer county coordinator for the last 17 years”

Thank you Steve for all you have done and congratulations on your win!

Enjoy!

 

Dec 012017
 

 

RootsTech 2018 is being held February 28 – March 3, 2018 in the Salt Palace Convention Centre in Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

I am really sad this year that I am not going to be able to be there in person but really pleased that as a Rootstech Ambassador I can give away a registration (that does NOT include airfare, accommodation meals) but DOES include  the registration fee for over 300+ classes, Keynote General Sessions, Innovation Showcase, Expo Hall, and evening events so that YOU have a chance to attend.

Yep just to restate this registration does not include travel, hotel, meals, labs or any other compensation. The Getting Started and free Family Discovery Day Pass are not included, and must be added on separately.

It is a fantastic conference with over 300 classes, so many wonderful classes.

Fantastic Keynote speakers

Keynote speakers such as Scott Hamilton an Olympic champion, cancer survivor, television broadcaster, motivational speaker, author, husband/father, and eternal optimist!

 

The Expo Hall  

Such a fantastic place over 400 exhibitors from all over the world giving help, showing the latest innovations and having lots of genealogical goodies for you and your loved ones

 

And the people all those other genealogists from around the country and the world who are also going to listen, learn and share their experiences!

 

The Family History Library that wonderful Treasure Trove is just up the road a little and will be open for research. Their new Discovery Centre is a must see activity while you are there.

 

So I hear you say how to enter to win one FREE RootsTech pass plus Innovator Summit 2018 4-day pass ($279 value)?

Just tell me two classes you want to attend using the contact form and how you feel they will help in your family history research. Then on the 5th December I will use a Random Number generator to select the winner.  The only requirement from you as a winner is after you have been  please tell me what you enjoyed the most along with a photo of you at Rootstech so I  can share with everybody the fun you had (and it will make me feel a little better that I can’t go!)

 

And the winner has been drawn! Congratulations to Steve!

Nov 262017
 

While I am very fond of chocolate and as a child loved the little calendars that you opened each day and gained a piece of chocolate, for a number of years now I have done a different type of Advent calendar.

It is a “Paying Forward Genealogical Kindness” Calendar.

So much of our research has been made easier because of the very many volunteers in the past who have indexed and transcribed records for us.

Over the years I have tried to give back whenever I could but because of study and work, generally could not often do it in person onsite somewhere, so looked for ways I could do it at home (or anywhere else I might be) using a computer.
Below is my 2017 Advent Calendar. Some of these will take a few minutes, some a few hours but each of them shares just a little kindness and there can never be too much kindness in this world.

December 2017

1 & 18: Kiva donation part of Genealogists for Families team

2, 6, 16, 20 & 24: Index a batch for FamilySearch

3, 8, 11 & 23: Transcribe for National Archives for Australia

4,7,12,15, 17, 19 & 21: Correct for Trove

5, 13 & 22: Put up a family photo with story online

9: Write article for my Family History Society

10: Fulfill Billion Graves Photo Request

14 & 23: Transcribe  for State Library of Queensland

‘Genealogists for Families’ Project

Small micro-loans given to help people help themselves. A fantastic initiative started by Judy Webster in honour of her father. Currently there are 350 genealogist members from all over the world who since 2011 have made over 9390 loans totalling  $248, 275. Each loan by an individual is $25 (the loan amount for a project varies) and then the person pays back the loan which allows you to relend that money again and again. So over my time as a member I have donated $1507 which because of the relending has meant that $4325 in 178 loans have been made.

Find out more here

Trove

The wonderful free website of the National Library of Australia that has digitised newspapers and now also the New South Wales Government Gazette that have been OCR’d (Optical character recognition read by a computer and interpreted). The OCR quality can be variable depending on a range of reasons including typeface so by correcting the text you make the record searchable and available for all.

I have been correcting for Trove for since August 2008 and in that time have corrected 83, 039 lines of text (which is way behind Trove’s top corrector JohnWarren who has corrected 4,738, 702 lines of text!

http://trove.nla.gov.au/

National Archives of Australia

Transcribing records to make them more findable and able to be listed online.  Thanks to transcribers 248 250 record descriptions have been added to RecordSearch. This makes resources available to the community as they are able to be found by a name search.

http://transcribe.naa.gov.au/

State Library of Queensland

http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/about-us/pitch-in

http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/about-us/pitch-in/transcribe

So many transcription opportunities around the world depending on your interests and experience. Just a few of the ones I have done some work with in the last couple of years are listed below:

Measuring the ANZACs

https://www.measuringtheanzacs.org/#/

Transcribing early modern recipes

http://emroc.hypotheses.org/

Virtual Volunteering Australia

http://www.virtualvolunteering.com.au/volunteer/

US National Archives

https://www.archives.gov/citizen-archivist/transcribe

Smithsonian Digital Volunteer

https://transcription.si.edu/

Atlas of Living Australia: Digitising Field Diaries Australia (Museum Victoria)

http://volunteer.ala.org.au/

World Memory Project

Project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a very large collection of documents. In partnership with Ancestry.com they have created the World Memory Project which has volunteers at home indexing the records so they are name searchable. This will create a free database.

https://www.ushmm.org/online/world-memory-project/

Welsh History

http://cynefin.archiveswales.org.uk/en/take-part/

Distributed Proofreaders

http://www.pgdp.net/c/

Checking and correcting  OCR to allow out of copyright books (Public Domain) books to become ebooks.

What’s On the Menu?

Project of the New York Public library transcribing historical restaurant menus.

http://www.pgdp.net/c/

What other projects do your family history society, local museum, state archives, etc have that you could give back a little? There are so many ways of “Paying Forward”

There are many projects around the world, in many languages. Conference Keeper also has lists of volunteer opportunities they have found and are also willing to promote your Society’s Archives etc volunteer indexing transcribing projects http://conferencekeeper.org/volunteer/

Remember every name indexed is one more person found for future researchers.

PS (and yes there might also be some chocolate as a reward each day in dark chocolate from my favourite chocolate shop!)

 

Oct 172017
 

My maternal Grandmother would have been 100 today.

Myrtle Doris was born at home, 77 Cochrane Street Red Hill, Brisbane, the second daughter

of Rupert George Weeks and Violet nee Rollason, 17 October 1917. (1)

      Myrtle Doris Weeks aged about 15 years

 

Sadly her father, Rupert, died 29 July 1921, at home, of acute phthisis (TB). (2)  Violet, her mother never remarried.

Myrtle met her future husband, William George Busby, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints meeting house in 1930 when she was 13.

They were married at Myrtle’s home,  by Elder Archibald Campbell, 11 September 1939. (3) Only a few weeks later William was in the Army due to World War Two.

 

           William George Busby, 19th Battalion

 

They were blessed by the birth of my mother, Violet Noreen Busby, 7 January 1940, their only child. (4)

Due to the war, Myrtle and Violet remained living at 77 Cochrane Street with Myrtle’s mother. In 1946, William returned from the war,

but due to the housing shortage, the young family remained at 77 Cochrane Street.

                      77 Cochrane Street Red Hill

 

    William, Myrtle and Violet Busby 1946

 

 

(1) Queensland birth certificate for Myrtle Doris Weeks,  17 October 1917, citing 1917/C13087, Queensland Registry Births Marriages Deaths, Brisbane. (Interesting to see that 77 Cochrane Street, Red Hill only 3.7km from the Brisbane General Post Office was considered to be Country in 1917).

(2) Queensland, death certificate for Rupert George Weeks, 29 July 1921, citing 1921/B35015, Queensland Registry Births Marriages Deaths, Brisbane. (Only four years later 77 Cochrane Street Red Hill was considered to be Brisbane and not country).

(3) Queensland marriage certificate for William George Busby and Myrtle Doris Weeks, citing 1939/B36545, Queensland Registry Births Marriages Deaths, Brisbane.

(4) Queensland birth certificate for Violet Noreen Busby,  7 January 1940, citing 1940/B82576, Queensland Registry Births Marriages Deaths, Brisbane.

Oct 142017
 

The Top 10 theme is running around recently so thought I’d share my Queensland go-to sites. I am not going to number them as that may imply one is better than another.

Queensland Registrar of Births,marriages and Deaths
Queensland registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages is an obvious site although the year only is given (unless you get creative with your searching) in the indexes. And yes, I know you can’t get married after you have died, but for some reason in Australia we always seem to say Births, Deaths and Marriages rather than Births, Marriages and Deaths!

Currently (as of 30 November 2016) the available indexes are:

Births         1829-1916
Marriages  1829-1941
Deaths       1829-1986

Queensland did not separate form New South Wales until 1859 so the entries prior to this are from New South Wales Registry and the entries prior to the New South Wales civil registration are church records of events that occurred in what became Queensland.

The Registrar is in the process of digitising the actual notification documents of marriages and births and I have previously blogged about this on the Genealogical Society of Queensland site

Queensland State Archives
Queensland State Archives is another fantastic resource and their website has increasingly more indexes becoming available. 

Did you know that you can download their indexes as PDFs and some as csv files? 

Then click through to each category to find the link to the indexes . Below is the click through from the Court Category:


Their immigration indexes are also an amazing resource as they are hyperlinked to a PDF copy of the digitised passenger list and so allow you to download the passenger list for your voyage. Their catalogue is good and increasingly there are items down to name level. Realistically the items that are down to name level are only a very small percentage of their over 50+ kilometres of records on the shelves but great when you find one. They have made their research guides available on their website so you can learn about the records and how to access them before your next visit.


Text Queensland
Another great site for Queensland research is Text Queensland

When they say it is Queensland’s past online they are understating the truth. With copies of the Government Gazette, Pugh’s Almanac, copies of various books published by University of Queensland Press, various Journals and, my personal favourite, copies of various theses that University of Queensland scholars have researched for their higher degrees all downloadable as PDFs. 

A true treasure trove!
 

Judy Webster
 
You also have to look at Judy Webster’s Pages if you do any Queensland research. Judy is a well known genealogist and professional researcher who has specialised in Queensland Archives research for many years. She has also done a huge amount of indexing over those years and shares many of those indexes with us on her pages There are more than 135 pages of indexes and information freely available for you. 

Judy has provided a search facility so you can see if your ancestor is mentioned among the more than 53 000 names indexed on her pages. Judy also writes some blogs and her posts on her Queensland Genealogy blog are a must read as she highlights interesting and unusual sources she has found. 

 
Trove
Trove of course is well known to us all and many happy hours have been spent looking at the site from newspapers, photos, maps, theses, diaries and so much more. Do you go back and redo searches for your names? You should! With newspaper additions and the all the wonderful people doing corrections of the OCR (optical character recognition while good does have many mistakes so a search may not find find your person’s name as the text was incorrectly recognised by the computer)

New papers are being digitised and often one paper might report something and give a little more information that another. Shauna Hicks, another well known genealogist, has had great success with this as she found a sketch of one of her ancestors in the newspaper. The person was appearing in court. Now this paper has not yet been digitised. 

It is important to remember that although a number of papers have been digitised not all are available online. Many are available however at the State library on microfilm or in hardcopy; there are also some specialist papers that are only available in hard-copy so it is important to look at the State Library catalogue. The State Library also has a number of online resources available too so make sure you explore their website and not just the catalogue!

Remember papers past the 1954 copyright time frame for digistisation will be available at the Queensland State Library in hard copy or microfilm. They may also be held at other State Libraries and University Libraries.

These were the Queensland papers added in March this year to join the many other digitised Queensland newspapers.  A list current as of 30 November 2016 is here

Q150 Celebrations
 In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations the government released some  files which are wonderful for family historians for some social context.

You can download the file as a complete Excel file or as individual files.


From these statistics we can see that a male born in Queensland in 1881 had a life expectancy of 41.3 years while if born in 2005 he would have a life expectancy of 78.9 years. Certainly there were some people who lived to a good age in the 1880s but as there was high child mortality it skews the figures and decreases the average life expectancy.
 
In 1876 there were 1000 liquor licenses in Queensland and this equates to 54.9 licenses per 1000 head of population. Interestingly in 2007-08 there were 6958 licenses which equates to 16.5 licenses per 1000 head of population. While this could be interpreted to say people are drinking less today I suspect it actually has a lot more to do with the ease of transport today and the increasing consumption in the home in comparison to 1876. 

The population by country/region of birth 1861 – 2006 also makes interesting reading. At least they did do something with the data of all those censuses they destroyed!

It is a great time to be doing Queensland research and there are so many other wonderful resources both online and offline.

Why not leave a message and share with us a fantastic Queensland resource that you have found?

Oct 142017
 

The FamilySearch Indexing Party is being held 20-22 October 2017

In 2016, over 100, 000 people came and they indexed over TEN MILLION names! Remember every name indexed is a person able to be found when you do that search on FamilySearch.

As you know Family Search have been digitising their microfilms from the Granite Vault. They expect to have digitised all they have permission to digitise by around 2020!

This huge effort along with the very many camera digitisation teams around the world who only use digital cameras, means that there are millions of records that have been digitised that are NOT name searchable as they have not been indexed.

If each of us indexed just a few records, can you imagine what we could achieve?

You can also do this indexing using a tablet or computer as Web Indexing is now available.

To find out more and sign up go here

Why not get a few people in your family history society, your friends to join you? Let us see what we can achieve in 72 hours working together. Currently in 2017, 24 000 have already signed up.

I’m in, how about you?

Oct 142017
 

The new trial started 12 October 2017 of PDF copies of digitised historical birth and death records. The trial is scheduled to run for three months minimum at this stage.

Applications for each PDF cost £6, must be made online, and include a GRO index reference. At £6 instead of the usual £9.25 a definite saving and would make a good Christmas present or three.

Only births and deaths are available in the trial (The Dove Digitisiation project sadly was stopped before marriages or the rest of the certificates could be done sob, sob)

England and Wales records which are available as PDFs in this extended pilot include:

Births: 1837 –1916
Deaths: 1837 –1957

This is a continuation of the trial run a while ago.

The certificates have to be ordered from the GRO site using their indexes.

You should really go and look at these indexes anyway even if you are not planning on ordering any certificates because the GRO re-indexed the certificates as part of the digitisation project.

Previously Mother’s Maiden name only occurred in the index for births after 1911 whereas now using the GRO indexes they are available back to the 1 July 1837. Age at death is also now listed back to 1 July 1837 with a couple of caveats. There is no distinction as to whether it is 11 days, 11 months or 11 years old, so need to be aware. Both of these are a definite aid when looking for those common names when you need to distinguish between have a number of people in the  same quarter, with same name and in the same registration district!

You do need to register on the site (it is free to register) and you will need to pay by credit card. The certificates will be emailed  to you as a PDF. Last time the trial ran they took about ten days to arrive by email.

I am hoping they will be faster this time. Now off to make a list!

 

Mar 182017
 

Ancestry recently published a paper in Nature Communications (freely available here to download):

—“Clustering of 770 thousand genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America”
By utilising the now very large amount of data available, with 3 million plus people tested, has allowed Ancestry with large amounts of computer power to analyse results and have been able to map DNA in specific locations and follow that DNA. 
 
This can only get better and more detailed as more people in specific communities around the world test.
My father was born in England, my mother is a fourth generation Australian of English, Irish and Welsh origin so I would expect to have  a good chance with an English community.

 This is a chart I made of the birthplaces of my ancestors (J. Paul Hawthorne set social media alight with this awhile ago now) so as you can see Kent is very heavily represented.
 
   So looking at the ethnicity you can see there is a new information. 
   One Genetic Community and when you click on the “View your Genetic Ancestry”




This is very promising and can only be expected to get much better as more people from these areas test. Interestingly I actually end up with two genetic communities:
Southern English and  English in the South East and they do separate out some of my matches. Some do end up in both groups.
Ancestry has separated the major communities so far into Europe, North America and South and Central America then each of these has sub-groups: (I would expect this to also develop further in the future).
 We live in interesting times and with the advent of analysis of big data sets, enhanced bioinformatics and the use of major computing power we are going to see some amazing things in the future.  Potentially this will even be in the not so distant future.
Even with all the caveats of ancestral markers and the way they are inherited and also potentially incorrect trees (the big data aspect  hopefully will even that out) I can this could provide some very interesting clues for adoptees and for genealogists in general.
Genetic communities is a feature that will become available to all Ancestry DNA members within the next month or so (I had heard a date of 28 March but can’t guarantee that all three million users will have access by then).
 
 
Jan 112017
 

Ancestry in a recent media release announced they have now passed the THREE MILLIONTH  autosomal DNA test.

Last year (22 June 2016) Ancestry announced they had just passed the two million people tested mark. Eleven months prior to that it was one million.

They also announced that they had sold 1.4 million tests in the last three months of 2016 and to put this in perspective they sold 390 000 more tests in the last three months of 2016 than they had sold in 2015. There has been mass advertising in a number of countries along with some pretty decent discounts so not a surprise for the good sales. 

The expansion of Ancestry DNA test kit sales early last year into 29 new countries will have also had an impact on those new kits being sold and hopefully new cousins being found.

It is unknown how many of those tests are still to come back for testing but it would not be any surprise if the four million autosomal mark was passed well before June.

This can only be a positive thing for all of us looking for those new cousins. 

With three million tests for comparison Ancestry is a pool you should be fishing in to find your cousins.  Have you tested yet?